VELLORE: In a midnight operation, Income Tax (IT) department officials, accompanied by poll squads, swooped down on the residence of DMK treasurer Durai Murugan located at Gandhi Nagar in the city here.
Tension prevailed for a while at midnight on Friday as DMK supporters led by legal wing joint secretary I Paranthaman resisted the entry of IT sleuths questioning them to show necessary warrants to hold the search.
The income tax watchdogs could gain entry into the residence around 2.30 am after showing a warrant to carry out the search.
"We allowed the IT officials to search the premises only after they produced the warrant. We are prepared to face anything legally but this is a deliberate attempt to harass the candidate," Paranthaman alleged.
The raids at the residence of Durai Murugan, whose son DM Kathir Anand is contesting in Vellore Lok Sabha constituency, continued till 10 am on Saturday.
The IT department stated that Rs. 10 lakh unaccounted cash was seized during the search.
“The search in the residence is over where about Rs. 19 lakh cash was found. After allowing cash declared in election affidavit of about Rs. 6 lakh etc., cash of Rs. 10 lakh determined as excess is being seized,” a statement issued by IT department on Saturday said.
Certain papers were also seized from the residence which the Central agency said “some printouts were found with ward numbers and amounts written but the main person has dismissed them as junk.”
Further questioning was on.
After completing the exercise in the residence of Durai Murugan, the IT men walked into the educational institutions (Kingston Engineering College) run by Durai Murugan's son Kathir Anand located at Christianpettai on Chittoor Road in Vellore district.
According to the IT department, “In the college campus, teaching and hostel blocks were searched fully. Only the administrative block in four floors is being searched now as it was biometric controlled.”
The IT department noted that it had conducted the search 'on being called by District Election Officer, Vellore,' and received the official memorandum issued by the State Police Chief.
It may be noted that DMK had sought shunting of District Election Officer-cum-district collector SA Raman citing partiality and failure in acting upon complaints of violations lodged by the party.
Two deputy directors from the IT's election surveillance and monitoring cell carried out the search which was also held at another DMK leader's house in
The raids were also held in the school run by Kathir Anand, and residences of two DMK leaders in Gudiyattam and Vaniyambadi, sources said.
Purely political: Durai Murugan
Meanwhile, Durai Murugan, a former Tamil Nadu Minister, termed the IT searches as 'purely political' with a motive to 'snatch his son's victory prospects' by hampering electioneering.
Talking to reporters, he said, “It is purely political. If the IT wanted to hold a search, they should have done it last month. Why should they come now. We will face it legally.”